If you do a strength workout or a 45-60 minute cardiovascular workout then you should be thinking about how you will be refueling your muscles post workout. By eating the right combination of carbohydrates and protein, you can minimize muscle breakdown and get back to building lean muscle! This means a complete and efficient metabolism boosting workout routine. There are a couple of things you can fine tune to make the most of this post workout meal/snack.
Eat as soon as possible after your workout. John Berardi says that if you consume something immediately after your workout, “Post exercise glycogen synthesis is 3 x’s higher than if the beverage was consumed just 2 hours later.” If there will be more than an hour until your next meal, then you should think about a snack. If you are lucky enough schedule your workouts so that you eat a meal right after, then Rock On! You are already refueling your muscles. So plan ahead and bring your fuel with you or have it ready for you when you return home or to the office.
Don’t focus too much on perfection. Experts such as John Berardi recommend a 2:1 ratio of carbohydrates and protein. Nancy Clark says a 3:1 ratio is best. My philosophy is aim to get somewhere within this range and you’ll be doing wonders to benefit your efforts.
There have been countless studies that show that whey protein is the most bio-available of all the other protein powders out there. This means that it contains all the amino acids and therefore your body is able to use them to rebuild. Be sure to choose a whey protein that is most natural. Biochem Natural or Blue bonnet are 2 good brands that both contain around 20 grams of protein per scoop.
If you have time to make a smoothie (BTW this is the best option because it will be digested quickly and immediately available):
Almond Banana– 1 cup almond milk, 1/2 banana, and 1 scoop whey
Berry Delicious – 1 cup almond milk, 1/2 banana, and 1/2 cup mixed frozen berries, 1 scoop whey
Peachy – 1 cup almond milk, 1/2 banana, and 1/2 cup frozen peaches, and 1 scoop whey
Lean Greens – 1 cup water or almond milk, 1 cup kale (no stems), 1 Tbs coconut oil, 1 cup frozen mixed berries, 1 scoop protein powder.
If you are eating lunch or dinner then just plan for a healthy power meal of good quality protein such as fish, chicken, edamame, lean beef….
Then pair this with some delicious nutrient packed carbohydrates such as sweet potato, fruits, brown rice, lentils……
Bottom line is plan ahead or have things that are already ready. You can make a batch of smoothie for 2-3 days. You can make a big portion of sweet potatoes or brown rice and add it to your lunches for the week. These things are super simple, you just have to start making the effort.
Have a great workout and enjoy your post workout smoothies!